This week we see further into Rumple’s plan to turn Emma dark.  As unlikely as it seems, will his plan work?  Will the Savior turn dark?  This week’s episode is Cruella-centric and we get deeper insight into Cruella’s past.

***** SPOILERS BELOW *****

The episode starts out with a pretty blonde girl running through the forest with a dalmatian chasing her.  The girl is stopped by the dog and her mother, and it turns out this little girl is Cruella herself.  Cruella gets taken home by her mother and locked away in the attic.  Looks like her mother is pretty evil at this point!  In present day Storybrooke, Emma and the Charmings are still looking for the author and arguing over what her parents did, when Regina walks in and lets them in on the Zelena/Robin situation.

Regina goes to Belle for help with Rumple.  Probably the best idea; fight fire with fire.  Belle summons Rumple and has a heart to heart with him, only it ends up being Regina controlling Belle and has taken her heart.  Regina tells Rumple that she will crush Belle’s heart if he alerts Zelena that she is coming to New York to help Robin.  At first he doesn’t seem to buy it, but then he thinks twice.  Probably not a good idea to test Regina!

CruellaPhoneMeanwhile, Cruella pays the Author a visit at the cabin and apparently there is some contentious history there.  He seems unwilling to do what she wants, and he says he has the upper hand because she lied to Rumple about their past, so Cruella begrudgingly walks away, saying she has other ways of getting what she wants.  What is her bright idea?  To kidnap Henry.  As Regina is preparing to leave for New York, Emma tells her she isn’t mad at her and gives her a gun to keep her safe in New York.  But before Regina can leave, they get a call from Cruella telling them to kill the Author or she will hurt Henry.

Back in the flashbacks, it looks like the Author is the one to finally set Cruella free from her long lockup in the attic.  He takes her to a club and tells her about his Author powers/magic.  She tells him a sob story about how her mother killed her father and her next two husbands and had Cruella locked in the attic to keep her from telling people what she did.

Once-Upon-a-Time-Episode-4-18-Sympathy-for-the-De-Vil-once-upon-a-time-38385229-3000-2000 In Storybrooke, Emma, Regina, the Charmings and Hook are back at the Charmings’ apartment devising a plan to save Henry. Emma says they all need to split up and says that right now she needs to be with the people she trusts (Regina and Hook), and not the people she doesn’t, aka her parents.  Who would have thought that Regina would one day be officially on the short list of people Emma trusts?  Ugh, the feels.  But, moving on.  As they are walking through the forest, Hook and Regina try to work on Emma to get her to forgive her parents, but she’s not really having it at this point.

They start to hear Henry’s calls for help coming from every direction, so they split up in search of him.  It looks like Rumple set up some magic traps to lead everyone astray but Emma.  Back in the flashbacks, we find out from Cruella’s mother that Cruella is actually some twisted soul and, in fact, killed her own father and her mother’s subsequent husbands.  She played the Author and stole his pen.  When her mother returns home, she turns her mother’s dogs against her and has them kill her.  The Author finds Cruella, who has killed the dogs and made herself a fur coat in classic Cruella De Vil fashion.  He manages to get his pen back, and writes that Cruella cannot kill anyone.

hqdefaultThis means that Cruella has no intentions of killing Henry and is in fact defenseless; which is what Rumple wants in his quest for turning Emma dark.  Emma and Cruella are in a face-off with Henry in the middle.  Emma doesn’t hesitate for long before blasting Cruella off a cliff with her magic.  I was a serious doubter about Emma turning dark, but at this point it seems like Rumple’s plan has some potential.

What did you think of the episode?  Comment below!

Once Upon A Time airs on Sundays at 8/7c on ABC. Watch full episodes on, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video and On Demand (check with your local cable provider).